Foods, Uncategorized

Pasta With Prosciutto, Edamame, and Carrots Recipe

Health and Wellness Associates

Pasta With Prosciutto, Edamame, and Carrots Recipe

 

pasta

Very Similar to Pasta Carbonara

 

This colorful pasta dish bursting with veggies is reminiscent of pasta carbonara, but with a healthier nutrition profile and lighter taste. Aside from the carrot ribbons, which could be prepared earlier in the day, it is not a make-ahead dish, so it may be best suited for gatherings which revolve around the kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 cups lactose-free whole milk
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces sliced prosciutto
  • 4 teaspoons garlic-infused olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 ¼ cup frozen shelled edamame
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 ounces uncooked low-FODMAP
  • pasta, short shapes like penne or rotini
  • 5 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cover the pot, and turn heat down to hold water at a simmer.
  2. Peel the carrots and trim off the root ends. Hold a carrot firmly at one end and lay it on a cutting board. Place your vegetable peeler midway down the carrot and with very firm pressure, make a single long stroke down the carrot to the end to make a thin ribbon. Repeat, turning and rotating the carrot as needed until the entire carrot is turned into ribbons. Repeat with the second carrot. Set ribbons aside
  1. Place cornstarch in a medium bowl and add water. Whisk until no lumps remain. Whisk in milk and cream and set aside.
  2. Prepare the prosciutto by cutting the sliced meat into ribbons, lengthwise, then crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces. In a large 10- to 12-inch skillet or sauté pan, heat 1 teaspoon oil on medium-high. Add the sliced prosciutto and stir until it is ​crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the prosciutto to a plate and set aside.
  3. Turn heat under the skillet to medium, add the remaining oil and tilt to coat the pan. Whisk the milk mixture again to re-mix cornstarch, and pour in about 1 cup. Whisk until milk starts to thicken, just below the boiling point. Whisk remaining milk mixture again and add to the skillet.
  4. Stir in the lemon zest, basil, edamame, salt, and pepper and continue to heat with occasional stirring until milk simmers and thickens; do not boil. Continue to simmer, stirring frequently for 2 to 3 minutes, reducing heat if needed.
  1. Add carrot ribbons to the sauce, stirring to separate them from each other. Adjust heat to hold the skillet at a low simmer.
  2. While the edamame is cooking, add the pasta to the boiling water in the large pot and cook it to just under al dente (it will cook some more in the next step).
  3. Combine the drained pasta and the sauce in the larger of the two vessels, and simmer on medium-low, stirring occasionally until sauce is reduced and the pasta is tender, 2 to 4 minutes more. Stir 2/3 of the prosciutto into the pasta. Divide pasta evenly onto 4 plates and garnish each serving with the remaining prosciutto. Top each serving with Parmesan cheese.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

Pancetta can be substituted for prosciutto. Since this can be purchased already diced, it saves a step.

To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta.

Cooking and Serving Tips

Making the carrot ribbons requires a little practice but is a fun way to add pretty shapes and color to dishes. Once mastered, they can be used in all kinds of dishes, from salads to grain pilafs.

Pasta is considered “al dente” when it is tender on the outside but firmer (but not hard) at its core. Al dente pasta is somewhat chewy.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Dr Gail Bohannan Gray

healthwellnessassocites@gmail.com

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Brain Aging: The Brain-Food Connection

Brain Aging: The Brain-Food Connection

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For decades, the medical community has recommended dietary management as part of the therapeutic plan for many conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. To date, no such recommendations exist for brain aging and dementia. In fact, many scientists and nonscientists alike are still reluctant to believe that our food choices might have something to do with the way our brains age or our risk of developing a brain disease.

In part, this is due to the fact that historically nutrition has been glossed over in medical schools, as well as in most post-grad mental health programs. It is only in recent years that nutrition was granted scientific-field status, and diet has been acknowledged as a legitimate means of protecting ourselves against brain aging and brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Little by little, scientists have come to appreciate the powerful connection between the foods we eat and our brain health. This very revelation has fostered a fast-growing body of evidence showing that we might very well be eating our way to dementia.

Brain Aging

What many of us have only begun to grasp is that the actual health and quality of the foods we eat has dramatically diminished. Animals are routinely fed growth hormones, antibiotics, and genetically modified (GMO) feed, which we in turn ingest when we make a meal of them. Chicken and pigs are fed poisons like arsenic as a preservative. Conventionally raised produce is showered in pesticides and chemical fertilizers. In addition to being toxic and depleting our soil of nutrients, these treatments drive our produce to grow larger and plumper in appearance while disguising the fact that they possess an unprecedentedly diminished vitamin and mineral content. Additionally, chemically modified fats and refined sugar are routinely added to most foods. This is done not only to preserve the foods’ shelf life but to deliberately increase our cravings for them, which in turn drives sales and profits.

What has gone unnoticed until now is the discovery of how, of all the organs in our body, the brain is the one most easily damaged by a poor diet. From its very architecture to its ability to perform, everything in the brain calls out for the proper food. Many of us are unaware that the only way for the brain to receive nourishment is through our diet. Day after day, the foods we eat are broken down into nutrients, taken up into the bloodstream, and carried to the brain to replenish its depleted storage, to activate cellular reactions, and, most importantly, to be incorporated into brain tissue. Proteins from meat and fish are broken down into amino acids which, among other things, serve as the backbone of our brain cells. Vegetables, fruit, and whole grains provide important carbohydrates such as glucose, as well as the vitamins and minerals that energize the brain. Healthy fats from fish and nuts are broken down into omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that make our neurons flexible and responsive, all the while supporting our immune system and shielding the brain from damage and brain aging. Our brains are literally what we eat.

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Healthcare

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

 

Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

4 Beverages To Add To Your Healthy Drink List

4 Beverages To Add To Your Healthy Drink List

 

Today we cover four healthy beverages – experiment to find the best ways to incorporate them into your daily routine:

  1. 65432d60943de24ecb6b18739c550a23Green tea. Dr. Weil’s beverage of choice, green tea is a potent source of catechins – healthy antioxidants that can inhibit cancer cell activity and help boost immunity. Look for an organic and fair trade version. Replace your morning coffee with a cup of tea for a healthier wake-up, and drink unsweetened iced green tea throughout the day.

***  If you have are taking any medications for cardiac problems, high or low blood pressure, migraines, bladder control problems, thyroid or kidney problems, do not take green tea.

 

***  Never drink more than one cup of green tea per day, and preferably in the morning.

 

  1. f04874c897e0304ef26b676dcfa947b0.jpgCranberry juice. Cranberries are a rich source of vitamin C and contain a substance that hinders the attachment of bacteria to bladder walls, which can help prevent urinary tract infections. Instead of cranberry juice cocktail, opt for unsweetened cranberry juice concentrate and dilute with water or sparkling water. Diluted 100 percent blueberry juice is a healthy choice as well as long as you keep your total juice intake low.
  2. Red wine. The antioxidant activity of red wine has been linked to heart health benefits, reduced stress, and even preserving memory. If you enjoy an occasional drink, limit your intake to one to two glasses a day. If you don’t drink, don’t start – there are other

 

 

 

  1. 5026e06335766db4865064e4e3379cb5Red wine. The antioxidant activity of red wine has been linked to heart health
  2. benefits, reduced stress, and even preserving memory. If you enjoy an occasional drink, limit your intake to one to two glasses a day. If you don’t drink, don’t start – there are other ways to get antioxidants in your diet, including fresh whole fruits and vegetables.

 

 

 

 

  1. 0e71da83e429020698203f8bf7c250ecPure, filtered water. Staying well hydrated is essential to optimal health and overall functioning. Sip water throughout the day, and in the warmer months, be sure to drink water before and after exercising to avoid dehydration. If trying to kick a soda habit, try sparkling mineral water with a squeeze of citrus.

 

 

 

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Wild Blueberry Cranberry Sauce

Wild Blueberry Cranberry Sauce

 

Enhance the nutrient power and healing properties of regular cranberry sauce with the addition of the most healing food on the planet: wild blueberries. Not only does this spin on traditional cranberry sauce taste incredible; its vibrant, rich color will also uplift your spirit.

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Wild blueberries contain dozens of undiscovered antioxidants, including anthocyanin varieties. There’s not just one pigment inside a wild blueberry; there are dozens of pigments not yet researched or studied. The wild blueberry is to the liver as mother’s milk is to a baby. Not only do wild blueberries have the ability to grab on to plenty of troublemakers, they also hold on to them as they leave the liver, in a way that most other healing foods cannot. The pigments in wild blueberries have the ability to saturate deep into liver cells and cross cell walls and membranes inside the liver, spreading their blue everywhere. Wild blueberries enhance the intestinal tract, feeding good bacteria there,

The anthocyanin in cranberries is multifaceted, as it does more than one job for your liver. Not only does it prevent oxidation in cells; it helps prevent cells from dying in general of toxic overload. It also removes and breaks free a variety of troublemakers, including those inherited from long past in the family line. The harsh fruit acid in cranberries that causes the mouth to pucker strips the cell membranes off pathogens, most especially bacteria. The vitamin C in cranberries holds similarities to the rare vitamin C in tomatoes in that it increases the liver’s immune system strength.

Wild Blueberry Cranberry Sauce 

Ingredients:
2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 cup frozen wild blueberries
1 red apple, diced
1 tsp orange zest
Juice from 1 orange
1/3 cup coconut sugar or maple syrup
2 cinnamon sticks

Directions:
Place all the ingredients in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered. Stir every few minutes for 20-30 minutes until the mixture is thick and the berries are soft.

Remove half the mixture from the pot and blend until smooth using an immersion blender or a jug blender. Place it back in the pot. Alternatively, you can leave the sauce chunky or blend it completely. Remove the cinnamon sticks and let cool before serving. Best kept in the fridge.

Makes about 1 cup

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Caramel Apple Rings: Liver Cleansing

Caramel Apple Rings

Coming up with fun, easy ideas for families can feel hard sometimes, and that’s when you can turn to these caramel apple rings. They’re a perfect breakfast idea for kids and adults alike. Try setting out all the different toppings “build your own” style and let everyone decorate the caramel apple rings with their own favorite choices!

 

Apples: Provide living water to support the liver’s hydration capabilities, so it can store the water and then release it back into the bloodstream when dehydration or dirty blood syndrome occurs. The fruit acids in apples help cleanse the liver by dispersing toxic films that build up inside its storage banks. Apples starve out bacteria, yeast, mold, other funguses, and viruses from the intestinal tract and liver. Great for dissolving gallstones.

Dates: The intestinal tract builds up mucus due to low hydrochloric acid and bile production, and that can slow down absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream. Dates expel and eliminate mucus, especially that produced by pathogens such as bacteria and fungus, from the colon. The sugars in dates feed the liver; they’re a great source of glucose for recovery and restoration that allows the liver to maximize its over 2,000 chemical functions.

applecaramelringsdThese are the ones we made and we used coconut in them.  Putting them on a stick is the best!

 

This recipe is a lot of fun with a lot of variations.

 

 

Caramel Apple Rings

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 lemon, juiced, divided
3 red apples
1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
1 inch vanilla bean (optional)
½ cup water

Optional Toppings:
1 cup raspberries
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup dried mulberries
¼ cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons raw honey

Directions:
Fill a large bowl with cold water and pour half of the lemon juice into it. Turn each apple sideways and carefully cut it into slices about ¼ inch thick. Use a small cookie cutter or bottle cap to punch the core out of the center of each apple slice. Place the finished rings immediately into the bowl of lemon water to prevent browning.

Blend the dates, vanilla bean, ½ cup water, and remaining lemon juice together until a thick, smooth “caramel” forms.

Remove the apple rings from the water. Spread caramel along the top of each ring and add any desired toppings!

Tip:
If the dates you’re using are dry, try soaking them in warm water for a few minutes prior to blending.

Health and Wellness Associates

Dr Gail Bohannan Gray

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

 

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Peanut Butter Oat Bites : Flourless and No Bake

Peanut Butter Oat Bites

Flourless and No Bake

 

oatbites.jpg

 

Want a nutritious snack that can also pass as dessert? These gluten-free peanut butter oat bites contain the delicious combination of dark chocolate and peanut butter, making for a satisfying snack, and the rolled oats add a bit of soluble fiber. What I love most about these bites is the secret ingredient of matcha green tea powder, which packs in more antioxidants.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons coconut creamer (or coconut milk)

Preparation

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients: rolled oats, chia seeds, matcha powder, and cinnamon. Stir the mixture to combine well.
  2. Add in the peanut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir again until mixture is thoroughly combined. Place oat mixture into the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  3. Take the oat mixture out of the refrigerator and roll them into balls, using a heaping tablespoon. This will make about 12 balls. Place back in the refrigerator for another 10 minutes to harden before dipping into chocolate.
  1. In a small sauce pot, add the chocolate chips, vanilla, and coconut creamer or milk. Turn heat to low and slowly melt the chocolate, stirring often. Cook on low until mixture is completely smooth. Be careful not to burn the mixture—keep an eye on it and don’t walk away!
  2. Take the oat bites out of the refrigerator and carefully dip each one into the melted chocolate on one side. Lie them flat on a baking sheet lined with foil after they have been dipped in chocolate. Place in the freezer to harden.
  3. Keep them in the refrigerator and enjoy when wanted. You can also keep them stored in the freezer if you want to enjoy them at a later time.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

These balls are scrumptious with peanut butter, but any nut butter would be equally as delicious. If you have a nut allergy, consider using sunflower seed butter instead. You can also feel free to use chunky instead of creamy peanut butter for an additional crunch.

Although dark chocolate slightly increases the nutritional value of these bites, you can melt your personal favorite chocolate. Bittersweet chocolate is a good choice since it is not too sweet, given you already have ample sweetness from the maple syrup in the mixture.

To make these naturally sweetened, swap out the maple syrup and use mashed up dates.

To sweeten with dates, pour hot water over the dates in a small bowl and let sit for at least 15 minutes so they can soften. Drain excess water and mash up the dates with a fork until a smooth paste is formed. Add this paste into the oat mixture. You can also try using mashed ripe banana as an alternative natural sweetener. Alternatively, to cut down on sugar, use half the amount of maple syrup and add in unsweetened applesauce.

The matcha powder flavor is almost undetectable but if you would like a stronger presence, simply add in another half teaspoon or so. If you have trouble finding matcha powder, omit altogether.

Cooking and Serving Tips

This recipe is very simple and requires no baking. It is especially great in the summer time.

To minimize the number of dishes used, mix all the ingredients for the oat mixture in one bowl. You can also save time by using chocolate chips—they are convenient to melt instead of having to chop up chocolate.

The oat bites do not need to be refrigerated for any food safety reasons, but the chocolate will melt otherwise.

Plus, it keeps the balls intact. Store them in the freezer, as you may not always finish the whole batch within a few days. This way, you can take one or two out as needed and they are as delicious frozen as they are thawed out. Enjoy these as a snack mid-day or for a light dessert in the evening.

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Medicine

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Pumpkin and a Pumpkin Smoothie!

It’s PUMPKIN time again!!

 

shutterstock_pumpkin-smoothie.jpg

 

Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin beer, pumpkin potato chips and more!

While pumpkins are chock full of beta-carotene (the pre-cursor to vitamin A), and fiber, they are also low glycemic, meaning that pumpkin does not cause blood sugar levels to rise, helping you lose weight. Pumpkin is also great for your eyesight, beautiful smooth skin and has powerful disease-fighting capabilities.

However, keep in mind we are talking about pure pumpkin, not that pumpkin spice muffin you’re eating or your pumpkin spice mocha latte frappe! The sugar and refined flours cancel out the benefits of the pumpkin.

That beautiful bright orange color of pumpkins comes from the antioxidant, beta carotene, which not only turns to vitamin A in the body, but is a powerful antioxidant that protects against heart disease, cancer and diabetes. In fact, a recent study from Brazil showed that diabetic rats fed beta carotene reduced oxidation stress that helped prevent heart disease and disease processes caused by diabetes.

Beta-carotene is not the only diabetes-fighting nutrient in pumpkins. Two other compounds found in both pumpkins and fenugreek, trigonelline and nicotine acid, have been shown in studies to be effective in lowering blood sugar levels by improving insulin resistance, according to researchers in Japan.

Pumpkin’s high fiber helps you feel full longer, which is a great aid in weight loss. And it’s low glycemic properties also help to keep your body in fat-burning mode—not fat-storing mode. Pumpkin’s powerful antioxidants also help fight off cancer and boost the immune system. A pumpkin-protein smoothie can be the perfect post-workout recovery food—since pumpkin is also full of potassium, along with its vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

Pumpkin can be eaten roasted, baked or steamed, similar to sweet potatoes or squash. It is a delicious addition to curries and soups as well. Don’t  forget to eat the pumpkin seeds, too, which are best lightly roasted. Pumpkin seeds are known to boost levels of serotonin, the ‘feel-good’ brain chemical.

Try this amazing pumpkin smoothie!

Ingredients

1/2 cup (approximate) organic pumpkin, canned or fresh baked
1 small or 1/2 regular/large tart apple
Protein powder of choice (vanilla works best with this recipe)
1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
Handful of greens if you wish—baby kale, spinach, chard, etc.
Your milk of choice: real raw milk, coconut milk, almond milk, etc.
1 Tbsp of coconut oil

Directions

Mix in blender until smooth, add milk until desired consistency. Add a few ice cubes if you like it cold.

You should also know that this recipe is an almost perfect low-glycemic snack for Diabetics, due to it’s blend of fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants, and a reasonably low amount of sugars and carbs that impact blood sugar.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Medicine

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Foods, Uncategorized

Pizza with a Sweet Potato Crust

Health and Wellness Associates

 

Pizza with a Sweet Potato Crust

 

sweetpotatocrust

 

Ingredients

Crust:

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil

1 medium sweet potato (about 10 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes 

1/2 cup almond flour 

1/4 cup grated Parmesan 

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 

1 large egg 

Toppings:

Kosher salt

1/2 bunch broccoli rabe, roughly chopped

4 ounces spicy Italian sausage

1/4 cup pizza sauce 

4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled 

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

 
 

Directions

  1. For the crust: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil.
  2. Add the sweet potato cubes to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until coarsely ground, similar to the texture of coarse salt.
  3. Add the ground sweet potato, almond flour, Parmesan, salt, garlic powder and egg to a bowl and stir until combined. Transfer the sweet potato mixture to the prepared baking sheet and form into a 12-inch circle about 1/4 inch thick. Brush with remaining tablespoon olive oil. Bake until browned around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. For the toppings: Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice water bath. Blanch the broccoli rabe in the boiling water, then transfer to the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.
  5. Set a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon into crumbles, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  6. Remove the crust from the oven and top with the pizza sauce, broccoli rabe, sausage, goat cheese and pepper flakes. Place back in the oven and cook until the toppings are warmed through and cheese is melted, another 8 to 10 minutes.

Health and Wellness Associates

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Foods, Uncategorized

Teriyaki Chicken and Vegetables

Health and Wellness Associates

 

Teriyaki Chicken and Vegetables

teriyaki-chicken-and-vegetables-HERO

Teriyaki Chicken and Vegetables is an easy and healthy meal that’s perfect for a busy weeknight! Homemade teriyaki sauce makes this dish, and you can use your favorite veggies!

Ingredients

For the sauce:

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch

For the stir fry:

  • 1 1/4 lbs chicken breast cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into1-inch pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Instructions

For the sauce:

  1. Place the soy sauce, water, garlic, ginger, honey, brown sugar and sesame oil in a small pot over medium-high heat. Cook for 2 minutes. Turn up the heat to high and bring to a boil.
  2. Mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water until dissolved. Add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce and boil for 1-2 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Set sauce aside.

For the stir fry:

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli and red peppers and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the vegetables have started to brown and soften. Add 2 tablespoons of water and cook, until water has evaporated. When your vegetables are crisp & tender, remove them from the pan and set aside; cover to keep warm.
  2. Wipe out the pan. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in the pan over high heat.
  3. Place half of the chicken in the pan and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Set the first batch of chicken aside and repeat the process with the rest of the chicken.
  4. Add all of the chicken and vegetables back to the pan. Pour the sauce over the top and cook for 2-3 minutes over medium-high heat until warmed through.
  5. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Study proves that people who eat organic have 25% lower risk of cancer

Study proves that people who eat organic have 25% lower risk of cancer

 

organic

 

If you’ve ever doubted whether organic food is worth the higher price tag, a study that was recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine should put your concerns to rest. In the study, French researchers showed that people who consume organic food have a 25% lower risk of cancer.

The study, which was carried out under the guidance of epidemiologist Julia Baudry, looked at the diets of nearly 70,000 French adults with an average age in their mid-40s. The volunteers were divided into four categories according to how often they ate 16 organic products that included vegetables, fruit, fish, meat, prepared meals, condiments, dietary supplements, vegetable oils and other products.

After an average follow-up time of 4 ½ years, the researchers looked at how many of the participants had developed some type of cancer. After comparing the volunteers’ organic food scores with the cancer cases, they were able to determine that those who ate the most organic food were 25 percent less likely to develop cancer than those who did not eat organic food. When it came to specific types of cancer, the group who ate organic was 73 percent less likely to go on to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and 21 percent less likely to go on to develop postmenopausal breast cancer.

It might be tempting to assume that the group who ate organic food would be more health-conscious overall and likely had a healthier diet in general, and that may be responsible for the lower cancer risk. However, the researchers say that simply is not true; even those who ate a low- to medium-quality diet yet opted for organic enjoyed the reduced cancer risk.

The authors concluded that should the findings be confirmed, promoting the consumption of organic food to the public could serve as a good strategy against cancer.

Pesticides have long been linked to cancer

The co-author of the commentary that was published alongside the study, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Associate Professor Dr. Jorge E. Chavarro, called the findings “incredibly important” and pointed out that they are consistent with the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s finding that pesticides cause cancer in humans.

The study’s findings are also supported but other studies have shown a negative relationship between the consumption of organic food and non-Hodgkin lymphoma in particular.

Agricultural chemical firms like Monsanto have long insisted their products do not cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma. However, in August, Monsanto was ordered to pay a school groundskeeper who was terminally ill with the disease $289 million in damages, and they are facing class-action lawsuits on behalf of countless other cancer patients who have developed the disease from exposure to glyphosate.

Yes, organic is worth it

Although the study does leave some questions unanswered, the authors believe that the negative relationship between organic food consumption and cancer risk comes from the “significant” decrease in contamination exposure that takes place when people replace conventional food with organic varieties.

Defenders of conventional agriculture and those who profit from pesticides may argue that the study was flawed, but it’s hard for many people to justify continuing to take such a gamble with their health. In the past decade, the organic food industry has more than doubled. Last year, the Organic Trade Association reports that organic food made up 5.5 percent of all the food sold in the U.S. Although more people are making this healthy choice, it’s clear that more progress needs to be made in spreading the word about the benefits of choosing organic.

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